Classic IndoChinese fusion: Pan-seared Paneer and Veggies cooked in a mixture of Soy Sauce and Szechuan Sauce, wrapped in a Whole-Wheat Roti.
My 4 years in college has had an immense impact on my life. Not only did it shape me into the person that I am today but it also allowed me to build friendships to last a lifetime. Even after leaving India all of us have kept in touch and more often than not reminisce about our college days. In those days a lot of fond memories have occurred while snacking on things like pavbhaji, bhelpuri or feasting on Indochinese fusion dishes like hakka noodles or szechuan fried rice. I decided to replicate a little bit of that magic with this simple but tasty “Chilli Paneer Roll”.
I am not tooting my own horn but my batch mates and I must have done something right for our college professors to still remember almost all of us 10 years after we graduated. They remember us as a class that did a lot of things which got on their nerves but also did a lot more things to make them proud. On a personal level I can say these 4 years were the absolute best years of my life. The biggest change in me was that I went from a shy awkward kid to someone who was comfortable giving a seminar in front of 20 people.
I could go on reliving my college memories but for now I am going to stick to the best part about it i.e “MY FRIENDS”. Our whole batch got along well with each other but our little group of 5 guys was a little different. For us every day in college began with the 5 of us sitting together for every lecture and ended in the college gym playing till we got kicked out by college security (CHUCKLES!!!!) The other thing we did was go on lots of trips and no matter where we went one thing was constant; Indochinese fusion food.
This type of food has gotten so popular in India that roadside stalls serving this steaming hot food have popped up almost everywhere. No matter where we travelled we found one such stall to eat at. I am telling y’all a dinner of szechuan fried rice or hakka noodles at one of these stalls with your best friends is the best cure for all your worries. After all these years these memories instantly come flooding back in our conversations. This week I actually decided to do something about it and voila I had these CHILLI PANEER ROLLS…
The first step was obviously getting a little color on the paneer cubes. Before pan-frying them on a skillet I dipped the cubes in a simple batter of corn flour, crushed black pepper, salt and water. Then sear the cubes in batches till light brown on all sides. Drain on an absorbent paper. The remaining batter can be added to thicken the sauce.
Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sauté for few minutes. Toss in the carrots and capsicum and cook until soft. Sprinkle in the soy sauce, vinegar, szechuan sauce (store bought) and the leftover corn flour batter and simmer. Finally mix in the fried paneer and cook on a medium heat till the flavors come together. Season with salt as needed.
This mixture on its own can be quiet a satisfying meal. I decided to add a little more Indian flair to it by wrapping it in one of our most popular breads “ROTI”.
Add water little at a time to the wheat flour and knead slowly to form soft dough. Divide the dough into equal portions. On a floured surface, roll out each portion into a thin circle. Place the roti on the pan and fry one side till you see bubbles. Flip and cook the other side till you see brown spots. Turn and press with a spatula from all the sides till it starts to puff up. As soon as that happens it is ready.
P.S: It really hurts to admit it but wifey has gotten really good at getting the rotis to puff up (LAUGHS!!!).
Lay the roti on a flat surface. Spread mayo all over the roti. Mayo is basically my guilty pleasure so I cannot resist using it in any kind of sandwich or wraps or even an IndoChinese fusion dish like this. But you can skip it if you like. Spoon a portion of the chili paneer in the center. Roll the wrap tightly by folding the sides over the filling and serve immediately.
This dish was a good reminder of those good old days spent without a care in the world (LAUGHS HARD!!!) I wish I had a time machine to help me relieve those days….
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- 340 gram Paneer (cubes)
- 3 tbsp Corn flour
- 1¼ tsp Black Pepper Powder
- 8 tbsp Water
- 1 small Capsicum (julienne)
- ½ Onion (julienne)
- 2 small Carrots (julienne)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1½ tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1½ tsp Vinegar
- 3 tsp Szechuan Sauce (store bought)
- Mayo (optional)
- Salt as per taste
- 1 cup Wheat Flour
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, drizzle oil.
- In a bowl whisk together corn flour, crushed black pepper, salt and water.
- Toss the paneer cubes in the batter to coat the pieces evenly. Drain the excess batter and sear them in batches till golden brown on all sides. Drain on an absorbent paper. Keep the leftover batter.
- Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Add onion garlic and sauté for few minutes. Add carrots and capsicum, cook until soft.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar, szechuan sauce and 2 tbsp of leftover corn flour batter and simmer.
- Toss the fried paneer and cook on a medium heat for a minute. Season with salt as needed.
- In a plate take wheat flour, add water little at a time and knead slowly to form soft dough.
- Preheat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Divide the dough into equal portion. Roll out each portion on a floured surface into a thin circle using rolling pin. Always roll on one side of the dough, do not turn the roti.
- Be careful while putting the roti on the pan, dusted side should be at upper side of the pan and fry one side till you see bubbles.
- Flip and cook the other side till you see brown spots. Turn and press with a spatula from all the sides till it puffs up.
- As soon as it puffs up, take off from the heat.
- Lay the roti on a flat surface. Generously apply the mayo over the roti. Then spoon a portion of the chili paneer in the center.
- Roll the wrap tightly by folding the sides over the filling and serve immediately